The drug, which is still used for the treatment of apoplectic attacks, it turns out, inhibits the development of intraocular tumors and prevent its spread to other parts of the body, according to the information of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
These data were published in the online version of the journal "Clinical Cancer Research".
Uveal melanoma (primary malignant tumor that develops in the outer layers of choroid and growing in the cavity of the eye), the second most common form of melanoma, can be very aggressive and spread rapidly, or metastasize, from the eye to other organs, especially the liver.
"Melanoma and uveal melanoma in particular, is difficult to treat when she goes to other organs and begins to grow into them," said Chief Investigator William Harbor (J. William Harbour). "We have previously identified two types of molecular uveal melanoma, which in most cases metastasized when cancer was already diagnosed eyes even if the preliminary survey found nothing. Microscopic This accumulation of malignant cells may hide in liver or other organ for several years before the tumor begins to grow and become deadly. "
Once this happens, the patient’s chances of survival are very small, as noted by the Harbor, professor of cell biology and molecular oncology. New analysis Harbor shows that drugs known as histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDAC) device converts DNA aggressive form of uveal melanoma, which changes the way the expression of key genes, making the tumor cells less aggressive.
"We studied uveal melanoma cells in the laboratory animal models, as a result we found that HDAC inhibitors can block the growth and spread of cancer tumor cells," he said. "Inhibitors of HDAC, seems reverses the aggressive nature of the molecule, we have identified several years ago as a marker for metastatic death. When we looked aggressive melanoma cells under the microscope after treatment inhibitors HDAC, they were more similar to normal cells than to tumor cells."
Because HDAC inhibitors already available, Harbour said it would move quickly to test the drug in patients with an aggressive form of uveal melanoma. Drugs have relatively mild side effects and do not entail such serious consequences as other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. One of these inhibitors of HDAC, for example, a valproic acid formulation of apoplectic attacks. The most common side effect is drowsiness, which is typical for all inhibitors, HDAC.
Clinical trials of HDAC inhibitors could begin in the next 6 to 12 months, according to Harbour. Other researchers have already applied for allocations to start testing one of the inhibitors of HDAC, is called SAHA (suberoylanilide hydroxic acid) in patients with metastatic uveal melanoma.
Harbour and his colleagues previously developed a special little test to predict at which body most likely to spread the cancer. The test is helpful because although less than 4 percent of patients with uveal melanoma metastatic disease is detected, about half die of metastasis even after successful treatment of the tumor with radiation, surgery, or, in the worst case, the removal of the eye.
Among other things, the research team published Harbor last year, an article in the journal "Science", the identification of mutations in a gene called BAP-1, which helped to further determine why some tumors eyes become aggressive and acquire the ability to spread. Harbour explained that inhibitors of HDAC, it turns out, reverses some effects of BAP-1 mutations in melanoma cells.